Universal (3CD/DVD set)
A real treat for Tears For Fears fans as this four disc set contains a DVD of the band’s 1984 show at the Hammersmith Odean; the original album; a disc of BBC sessions and a disc of B-sides and that staple of the 80’s, remixes.
This is the band’s debut album which proved a major seller on its original release and made household names of Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith (there were two other band members back at that time but Smith and Przabal were seen as the face of the band).
The big hit was ‘Mad World’, covered many times since and it sounds as good now as it did back then. The other well known song on here is ‘Change’, a nice synth led pop tune. The rest of the album has aged well as the band used synths and electronics to good use, however avoiding say the then trendy drum machines which date the music so badly today for other artists. The atmospherics on ‘Ideas As Opiates’ and ‘Suffer The Children’ are amazing listens.
The live sessions were recorded for John Peel and David ‘Kid’ Jensen, plus a live version of ‘Start Of The Breakdown’ recorded at Oxford Apollo in 1983. Good sound throughout as you’d expect from BBC recordings.
The live DVD recording from Hammersmith Apollo in 1984 features the whole of the album plus a couple of other songs. The sound quality is good and live they sound just as good as the record with ‘Change’ and ‘Mad World’ getting the biggest audience reaction.
Finally there is the B-sides and remixes, which is a real fan zone as an extended run through ‘Pale Shelter’ also on here as a ‘long version’ can see the less committed fan switching off. Interesting new version of ‘Change’, also on here as a radio edit.
The band are recording a new album for release next year, their first since 2004. Until then this lavish re-issue is a real treat for fans, not so sure it is aimed at the casual fan who would be better served with the original album or the best of CD.
Review by Jason Ritchie
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